I was at my partner’s place last week. He was talking about what it would take to start a new business – he’s never had to do that, so it seemed like a black hole to him. I knew exactly what he needed to do: the steps, the order … it was so clear, and I knew that if he followed these steps in that order, he’d be fine.
I didn’t know I knew so much because I can’t look at my own business the same way. I get stuck on things that seems so clear when I apply it to others. I don’t know what I was more dumbstruck from: that I knew so much, or that I didn’t know I knew so much.
After taking a few days to get used to this new discovery, I wondered why that happens and how I could use it to get unstuck.
That we can’t easily be impartial and objective toward our own passions isn’t something new. But the thing is – I’m not impartial to what matters to my partner. I care deeply and want to help. It’s just that speaking for another person brings with it a responsibility for me to give my best. Is it that I don’t treat my own needs with that same sense?
Really, it’s more than that: when I give advice, I know it’s value because I know the expected outcome. But when I try different approaches to running my own business, I don’t know the outcome. It’s this uncertainty that stops me. And scares me so much that I get stuck.
I tell myself that my situation isn’t exactly like his; that it’s unique; and that it therefore doesn’t follow the same principles. Well, no situation anywhere is exactly like any other situation, and yet the vast majority of them do follow the same principles…
What I really know is this: I’m passionate about my business; and this means I’m afraid of doing something that will hurt my business. So I dither. But deep down, I also know that if I follow the same steps I gave my partner, in that order, I’ll be fine.
Just like him.
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Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist. To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .